Lot Size10,455 sqft
Home Size1,753 sqft
Days on Market4
Category: Tips for Buyers
By now, most people know what it means to “buy local.” In Charleston for instance, it’s known that buying local seafood ensures the upmost freshness, and similarly by supporting local book stores, your dollars circulate in the community. But what difference does it make in real estate transactions? In my experience, the local providers make transactions go more smoothly every step along the way.
You might ask “what difference does it make if I use some nationally known lender that I can access online versus a local lender?” The convenience of logging on at 10:00 pm and typing in information might seem like an easier option than meeting face to face, or even scheduling a call with a local lender. In the long run however, the convenience on the front end might turn out to be less convenient once the process begins in earnest. One out of state lender told my client that she did not need a CL-100 (letter indicating no termites or damage) and she nearly cancelled the appointment to inspect. This lack of knowledge about the specifics of SC real estate transactions can create speed bumps when closing a deal, and even the difference in time zones have caused problems with closing on time. Most importantly, I find local lenders also understand the pricing in this market better than national companies and tend to approve loans for higher price point because they know the market will support it.
Living in the Lowcountry means risks and hazards that may be unfamiliar in other areas of the country. An insurance provider based in Kansas may not be aware of our flood insurance risks, wind and hail issues, and even earthquakes here. For example, there was a tremor in Summerville in June, and they happen regularly. Local agents know this, and can advise you accordingly.
Appraising real property is not an exact science. It takes judgement, discernment and experience. The difference between Folly Beach and Johns Island is not just 15 miles of travel. It can be the difference between a quirky beach house and a horse farm – with the same price tag. Appraisers may be well-qualified in Columbia to make a judgement about different kinds of property, but may be geographically incompetent here. Appraising homes in a subdivision in a more homogeneous area is also a different challenge than the many diverse types of homes and lifestyles here in the Charleston market.
So often I work with clients who are getting advice from a family member or friend who is a real estate agent in another part of the country, or even this state. It’s only natural to seek that advice from family members who only have their best interests in mind, to help them make a big decision. More often than not, that advice does not apply in this particular market. The market in New Jersey is very different than Mt. Pleasant. An experienced, local Realtor® knows that a well-priced home in Riverland Terrace is not going to last long, and offering 20% below asking price will not get the job done. I’ve had more than one client lose an opportunity because of advice they received that does not apply to this unique market with its many equally unique sub-markets. Similarly, in North Carolina, it is customary to have the appraisal done before the home inspection, where here it is the opposite. My clients who moved to Iowa, learned that finished space that is heated and cooled but in the basement is not counted in the total square footage. We don’t have basements for the most part, but here all heated and cooled space is counted.
There are so many things that can affect real estate transactions on all fronts, and working with local experts can make all the difference in getting to closing.
For quite some time, Mount Pleasant, SC has been the fastest growing town in the Charleston area. Our agents are often asked if it’s still possible for first time home buyers to find affordable housing in a community so in demand. And the answer is – of course! – but you have to know where to look. While the days of abundant fixer uppers and “handyman specials” in Mount Pleasant’s well established neighborhoods have come and gone, you can still occasionally find a home in need of some love. However, for the widest variety of results in the under 300K category, you’ll need to look at condos and townhomes. For now, there is a nice variety of 1-3 bedroom / 1-3 bath attached homes in the under 300K price range, but with the way this town is booming, who knows for how long?
After a quick search of the area and price range, we’re featuring two properties in a great neighborhood: Etiwan Pointe
241 Etiwan Pointe Drive
Like most townhome communities, Etiwan Pointe’s monthly HOA includes ALL exterior maintenance, insurance, and lawn care. The neighborhood also features amenities like a pool and fitness center, but what truly sets it apart from the other condos and townhomes in this price range is the deep water community dock. Access to the Lowcountry’s waterways is a HUGE perk! Winding Rathall Creek leads directly to the Wando River and is perfect for kayaking, paddleboarding, fishing, or enjoying the sunset . Bonus: the home at 241 Etiwan Pointe Drive is currently the lowest priced in the neighborhood and boasts abundant sunlight and marsh views from the screened in porch and master bedroom.
116 Summers Creek Court 109-1
Etiwan Pointe is within biking distance of Westbrook Brewery, Long Point Grill, and is extremely close to the Kearns Park Trail, which meanders through a maritime forest along the Wando River and offers stunning views of the harbor, bridges, and marshes. You walk right out the door of116 Summer Creek to the community pool across the street. This home features two porches – one screened in off of the living room and the other located next to the dining room to expand your entertaining space with the opening of French doors. Bonus: the price was recently reduced!
It doesn’t matter whether you are a Lowcountry native or you just fell in love with Charleston like I did, with more than 5,000 real estate agents in the Charleston market, you might ask how should I choose an agent to help me purchase wisely and find someone who will look after my interests?
Hire a career professional
There are not more than 5,000 agents making a living as a professional real estate agent. Many, work part or full-time at other professions, some work part-time by choice, and still others have a license just to represent friends and relatives. There is however, no substitute for a full-time, experienced agent who has seen many potential pitfalls and can recognize great opportunities when they arise. Additionally, there are many details to be addressed in any real estate transaction, and having someone whose only job is to see your purchase through to completion is critical.
Hire someone to protect your interests
New construction buyers are frequently not educated about their own consumer protection. They arrive at a model home to be greeted by a friendly site agent. It’s important to remember that as nice and professional as those agents may be, they are not primarily focused on protecting the buyers’ interests but rather on the interests of the company that pays their salary. Make sure you have someone on your side who understands the details of the contract you will sign and can manage the details and deadlines along the way to protect you financially. Remember, the seller pays your buyer agent’s fees so hiring an agent costs you nothing and protects you on everything.
Hire an expert
Everyone “knows someone” in real estate (especially here in the Lowcountry) and whether it’s a friend or relative, think about how that relationship might be affected when issues inevitably arise. Would you rather have that conversation with a person who can be neutral and objective, or find yourself in conflict with issues unrelated to the matter at hand? Consider the benefits to the friendship by hiring an expert – after all, it is a business decision.
Hire a Realtor®
As Phil Dunphy on Modern Family has said, he’s not just a real estate agent, he’s a Realtor®. A Realtor® is held to a stricter code of ethics than real estate agents. Having confidence in your agent’s ethics and knowledge of best practices will help you sleep at night. Realtors® are members of a national organization and are required to take additional continuing education courses to insure they are up to date on the most current laws and the best practices. Make sure you select a Realtor® to insure you receive the best possible representation.
Hire a CNE®
Only a small percentage of agents throughout the country are Certified Negotiation Experts. Advanced, continuing education is required to achieve the CNE® designation. I recently interviewed agents in Chapel Hill, NC for clients who were moving there from Charleston. I did so because they had a bad experience with an agent in Asheville, NC while looking for a vacation home. After talking with three Realtors ® with this particular designation, I referred two of them to my clients. They went with my first choice and have been delighted with the outcome and closed on a new home last week. When interviewing agents ask if he or she is a Certified Negotiation Expert. It can be a huge asset to have someone on your side that is more effective in using a variety of techniques to achieve your best outcome.
– Terry Bell-Aby, Realtor®, CNE®
Tax Credits for Historic Properties
People from all over the world love Charleston and its wonderful architecture. Our leaders years ago, knew that preserving that charm would be important to its future. What might seem to some like draconian rules that must be followed have become the unswerving guiding principles to preserving these beloved historic structures. Consequently, incentives have been put in place to encourage owners to “do it the right way” and truly restore and not just remodel historic buildings.
How does it work?
Taxpayers who rehabilitate their owner-occupied residence may be eligible to subtract 25% of the costs of many expensive repairs and renovations from their state income taxes.
How do I qualify?
Your building must meet both of these criteria:
1. You must own and live in the building or a portion of the building that will be rehabilitated. It can be a house or another type of historic building, such as a school or store, that you are rehabilitating to live in. An historic outbuilding associated with your residence, such as a barn or a garage, can also be eligible for the credit. The credit does not apply to buildings or portions of buildings that are used in a trade or business or produce income.
2. Your building must be one of the following:
• listed individually in the National Register of Historic Places
• contributing to a listed National Register historic district
• determined by the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) to be eligible for individual listing in the National Register
• an outbuilding that contributes to the significance of a property listed in the National Register
One might be surprised to learn that tax credits are available all around the Lowcountry and not just downtown Charleston that qualify. Here are a few: Historic District (HD) in Summerville, Hampton Park Terrace, a carriage house downtown, a Freedman’s cottage in North Central, Mt. Pleasant HD, Ashley River HD Atlanticville HD Charleston Navy Yard Officer’s quarters HD, French Quarter HD, Moultrieville HD, Pinopolis HD, Pineville HD, Sullivan’s Island HD, Successionville HD to name a few.
What elements qualify?
Money spent in the following categories may be counted as “Rehabilitation Expenses” when calculating the amount of credit:
• restoration of historic plaster
• energy efficiency measures except insulation in frame walls
• repairs or installation of heating, air conditioning, or ventilating systems
• repairs or installation of electrical or plumbing systems exclusive of new electrical appliances and electrical or plumbing fixtures
• architectural and engineering fees.
Allowable expenses do not include the cost of new construction beyond the footprint or volume of the existing building, the cost of acquiring or marketing the property, the value of an owner’s personal labor, or the cost of personal property.
Are there other requirements?
You must spend more than $15,000 within 36 months on Rehabilitation Expenses that qualify. Remember, this is a government program. There will be forms to complete, timelines, reviews, and copious documentation is required.
What is the most important take away?
Do not start any work until the first form is approved by the state of SC. You must have documentation of every element you intend to claim with before and after photos. You must tract specific expenses scrupulously throughout the process and you must quantify all work. This is not easy and contractors don’t like doing it so you will likely be the project manager for the tax credit work. But remember, it pays well come April 15th.
With an interest rate increase still in the cards this year, combined with the American political landscape and global economic events, a cooldown could occur by winter. Presently, however, summery growth prevails as many locales are reaching near-record prices not seen in more than a decade.- According to Charleston Trident Association of Realtors
Market Stats through May 2016
REGIONAL REAL ESTATE SALES
CHARLESTON, SC—(December 10, 2015) 1,029 homes sold in November in the region at a median price of $246,000 according to preliminary data released today by the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors® (CTAR). In November 2014, 987 homes sold at a median price of $222,067.
Year-to-date data shows that sales volume is 14% ahead of where it was last year, with 14,758 sales through November 2015 and the regional median price has increased by 5.3%, currently $228,000. Through November 2014, 12,933 homes had sold at a median price of $216,352.
- Upper Charleston Peninsula
- Downtown Charleston
- Mount Pleasant (below IOP connector)
- Mount Pleasant (above IOP connector)
- Folly Beach
- Isle of Palms and Wild Dunes
- Sullivans Island
- Kiawah Island
- Seabrook Islands
- Daniel Island
Looking for Folly Beach Homes with Ocean Views? Folly is one of the most desirable areas to live in the Lowcountry because of the laid back vibe, island-style living, and its beautiful beach that offers the best waves in Charleston. One of the things most people look for when buying a home on Folly Beach is those spectacular ocean views. Plus Folly Beach offers some of the most amazing sunsets this side of this Mississippi! Here is a list of homes currently for sale on Folly Beach with some incredible ocean views. We’re sure that there is something on this list for everyone.
On Folly Beach there is a wide variety of homes for sale, including weathered beach bungalows and grand new construction. You can also find tiny beach cottages, like those on the now-popular tiny house hunting television shows. In recent years, new luxury beach homes with ocean views have been on the rise. Homes on Folly Beach are often referred to as “First Row”, “Second Row”, “Third Row” to note their proximity to the ocean. The properties are, naturally, priced according to how close they are.First and Second Row homes on Folly Beach are almost always going to have ocean views. While Third and Fourth Row homes may not have ocean views, they are still a very short walk to the beach.
If you’re looking for a home with a laid back vibe and something beautiful to look at, you will want to take a look at this list of home for sale on Folly Beach with ocean view. The prices ranges vary, but we’re sure there is something to fit everyone’s budget. The results show the most recently listed properties first.
- List View
- Map View
See all Folly Beach Ocean View Listings.
(all data current as of 4/7/2020)
Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.
Last night, City Council members deliberated on the proposal of a 4,500 residential development in the Bees Ferry area of West Ashley. According to William Joy of WCSC, The Long Savannah Project was approved and will cover 3,000 acres, 1,200 of which will be used for homes and 400,000 square feet will be used for retail and office space.
The approval of this major residential project is great news for the people who live in West Ashley, myself being one of them. The community is really hoping this area is going to be revamped and this project should show everyone that West Ashley is on track to developing for people that are moving to the area.
Traffic studies done on this project show that the entire area will be gridlocked, along Bees Ferry and Glenn McConnell (didn’t the Bees Ferry construction just end?!), but this should be a small price to pay for the major development.The project was originally approved in 2007, but was foreclosed on. We should expect to see around 500 homes in the next two years and the entire project to be complete in the next 20.
Charleston residential real estate saw a great year in 2014, with a 9% increase in sales volume and a 5% increase in median prices. A total of 14,253 homes sold last year in the Charleston metro area, with the downtown Charleston peninsula and Folly Beach seeing the most median price growth, while Kiawah/Seabrook and James Island were some of the most active subsections of the Lowcountry, according to the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors®. In December 1,270 homes sold at a median price of $202,870. 2015 CTAR President, Matt DeAntonio, gave a great outlook for 2015, stating that “we expect to see sales volume and prices continue to grow.” While inventory remained low, 12% lower than in 2013, some notable changes in the market from 2013 to 2014 included a 17% increase in single-family home sales and that distressed sales continued to decline significantly.